Special Education and Section 504 Overview
All children with disabilities have the right to a free and appropriate public education as provided under Illinois and federal law. It is the obligation of the school district to properly identify, evaluate and place such disabled children. Children, aged 3-21, may be eligible for special education services if the student meets criteria established under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Disability identification is limited to the following categories, autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, visual impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, emotional disability, hearing impairment, orthopedic impairment, speech language impairment, traumatic brain injury, intellectual disability, and for students under nine years old, developmental delay. All categories have specific criteria. Additionally, IDEA requires that the identified disability has an adverse educational impact, requires specialized service, and that the disability is markedly different than same-aged peers, to qualify.
Parents of students with disabilities are entitled to a copy of procedural safeguards in brief, annually. Parents have the right to request another copy at any time. The following link is to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) procedural safeguards page, http://isbe.net/spec-ed/html/parents.htm. A complete copy of the parental rights document is called Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois. This document can be accessed at http://isbe.net/spec-ed/html/parent_rights.htm.
Further information can be accessed through the ISBE website at www.isbe.net. Please contact the Forest Ridge SD 142, Pupil Personnel Services Department at 708/687-8310, if you have further questions or concerns.
Section 504/Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the federal Rehabilitation Act require the school district ensure that no individual will be discriminated against based upon a disability. Under federal law, qualified students with disabilities may be entitled to certain services or accommodations related to their school programming. Parents who believe their child may have a disability that substantially limits their child’s ability to function properly in school should contact their building principal. Further questions can be directed to the Pupil Personnel Services Department at 708-687-8310.